It's but a small, modest thing, but it is our own. The picture shows an agarose gel with nine columns. The two bright sets of bands on the margins are standards. The fainter columns (two so faint as to effectively be invisible, really) show faint smears. Those faint smear are DNA. Genetic material. The double helix, baby! Those smudges, unimpressive looking as they are, show that my student Sakshi and I successfully extracted DNA from some tunicates.
This is stuff that they often teach in undergraduate classes now. Very standard procedures. But for various reasons, I'd never done anything like this before. This smudgy gray picture represents the first little baby steps into some new research capabilities for me.
Now that we know we have DNA, I just have to figure out what the heck we want to do with it next...
Only about five days until the publication of my newest research paper. It's like science Santa is coming early! In the next issue of The Biological Bulletin. Accept no substitutes.